Can You Say Happy Passover? Appropriate Greetings for Jewish Holiday Telling Story of Exodus From Egypt

Passover tells the story of the hardship the Jewish people faced in Egypt and while not every part of the seder is happy, it's perfectly acceptable to send a loved one a message wishing them a "Happy Passover."

Passover begins at sundown on Saturday and the holiday serves as a remembrance and teaching of the persecution of the Jewish people and their exodus from Egypt. Those who observe it mark the holiday with two ceremonial dinners called "seders," to both remember the suffering of the Jewish people and the suffering of others, as well as, celebrate freedom.

Unlike Yom Kippur, which occurs in the fall and is a somber holiday, it's appropriate to wish someone a "Happy Passover" because it's also about celebrating life after being enslaved. A person could also wish someone a "Happy Pesach," as "Pesach" is Hebrew for "Passover."

Anyone trying to get a little fancier with their greeting could send someone a message saying "chag same'ach," which means happy festival, according to Chabad, or "gut yom tov," which in English means "good, good day."

what do you say on passover wishes
It's appropriate to wish someone a happy Passover. The Passover seder table at the home of Nisim Nisimov, the head of the municipality of the Red Village in Guba. Reza/Getty Images

Passover is normally a time to gather with family and friends, but this year many seders will look different than they usually do. People will once again opt to get together by remaining physically apart, but the essence of the seder will remain the same.

Seders are guided by a book called a Haggadah and traditionally begins with the lighting of the candles. Prayers are said over the candles, as well as, for the wine, which is known as the Kiddush, and the parsley, bitter herb and matzo.

Each of the items on the seder plate, which serves as the focal point of the seders, including the parsley, bitter herb, and matzo has a symbolic meaning. During Passover, Jewish people eat matzo instead of leavened bread because when the Jews fled Egypt they didn't have time to wait for bread to rise. Dipping parsley in salt water serves as a reminder of the tears that were shed as slaves and the bitter herb, also called maror, reminds observers of the bitterness of slavery.

Also on the seder plate is a lamb shank to represent the Paschal sacrifice, a roasted egg as a symbol of the holiday sacrifice offering and the cycle of life and charoset, which is indicative of the mortar and brick the Jews made for Pharaoh.

Aside from the emotional toll that being away from family and friends can take on a person, one of the most difficult parts about virtual Passover is the hiding of the afikomen. The afikomen is a piece of matzo that is hidden in the beginning of the seder that children search for later on. Searching for an afikomen that you hid yourself just doesn't have the same level of fun as finding one that someone else hid.

While there's universal agreement on when Passover begins, when it ends depends on where you are and the sect of Judaism you follow. Passover, according to Biblical command, is observed for seven days, according to Chabad, but rabbinic tradition calls for it to be celebrated for an extra day in the Diaspora. So, Passover is celebrated around the world for eight days, although, in Israel, it's only observed for seven.

So depending on whether you celebrate Passover for seven or eight days, it's set to end at sundown on April 3 or April 4.